3/20/15 2:01 PM
Jeremy Rabus makes strange little paintings that upon further inspection only get stranger and stranger. This is good. The pictures, painted in acrylic on panel, begin with tangy swaths of color that then get partially covered over in other swaths of color. Odd shapes emerge from the overlapping of each layer, until finally the picture is full and can absorb no more invention. Sometimes Rabus goes too far and the picture very nearly overspills its surface, but how else to know how much a painting can bear? The jewel-box landscapes of the great Lebanese artist Etel Adnan seem like an influence; if not, they ought to be. Rabus’s penchant for titling his paintings with invented place names—“Turerio Bluff” and “Lava Falls, Isla Jeowala” returned no Google search results—suggests he sees his compositions not just as freeform abstractions but also as imaginary landscapes. How lovely it would be to travel there.